Monday, May 31, 2010
Early 2009, I started a remodeling project of sorts. I had a nice coopered vanity from Lowes', but it had a black granite top with a white vessel bowl on it. -yawn-. My replacement was a pie-wedged top of ribbon Sapelé with an onyx vessel bowl.
I forgot the part about the larger pattern. My Domino placement required the offset. mea culpa.
I don't have a picture of it, but I burned through not one, not two, but three Dominos. You know what I mean: the profile was this lovely Sapelé then a gaping hole with white steamed Beech (the Domino). Good grief.
When I hit the first one, I remembered the offset, but much too late now. I continued to route exposing 3 total.
So... how to fix?
First, put down power tools, step away from pointy objects, and cuss like nobody's business. Won't fix it, but you'll relax :)
I don't have pictures of the burned Dominos since that was before I thought blogging would be cool (both of you readers should let me know if that's true...) However, imagine the profile with a gash showing the Beech Domino. Since the profile hit the Domino at a skew angle, the hole is oblong. This was my fix (best to read it all as some skipped details will be immediately clear when you see where things were going):
Determine the size of the mortise to know which bit to use. I had used 10mm Dominos so that was the cutter to use (I still remembered the fence setting used to mortise the holes... if you don't, you could use a larger cutter; it will be clearer in a moment). Figure out which mortise width setting will equal or exceed the width of the revealed hole. In my case, 2 were using the middle width setting, one used the widest setting.
Plunge a mortise directly over the burned hole. The intention is to leave a clean Domino mortise with no remnants of the originally revealed hole. I have no photos of this.
Take the offcut to the bandsaw and carefully bandsaw a perfect Domino replacement by tracing the outside edges of the shallow mortise. You're bandsawing a very small piece: plan you cuts appropriately to stay away from the blade. In my case, I made a rectangle that encompassed the mark and sanded the corners.
Everybody discovers this when they get their new Festool OF-1400 router, but I'll point it out to those who don't have it to figure it out.
Routing on an edge always leaves at least half the base off the stock making the router less stable. Add to that the higher center of gravity of a plunger like the OF-1400 and you can easily make a mess of that edge.
In this configuration, the pad is out nearly a foot from the bit! The added stability is amazing and offers a lot of control for guiding the router. On a recent project with a lot of a shaped profile requiring climb-cutting on material very prone to chip-out, I used this configuration to bump-route much of the edge; the little bit of climb-cutting I did was very safe and controlled as that long arm to the base gives you a lot of mechanical advantage.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
My MFT-1080 was always a lean-over affair, and that gets old. Eventually, the MFT/3 was released. It comes in 2-3 inches higher. Perfect work height.
Well, I don't have an MFT/3 and couldn't in any way justify replacing the 1080 with one. So I built a table that sits underneath the MFT-1080 bringing it up to the same height as the MFT/3. This will be useful if the CMS ever makes it out here as it is designed to attach to the MFT/3 or stand beside it.
No, no, no, I haven't been robbed. But I used to have my miter saw on a mobile stand and would wheel it away into the confines of my third-car bay. Then the shop grew and, you know, free space was occupied. It became a chore to get the saw out. I sold the stand to the cheapest contractor on the face of the Earth (and whose gigantic pickup leaked oil on my driveway, thank you...) and made a stand for it that is dual use.
The initial idea was motivated by a mobile stand presented in Small-Shop Solutions. Rather than flip to move one of two tools into operating position, mine flips the saw up or a work table up.
EDIT: Since I posted this, I've had a few questions about it. Rather than add many more photos to this entry, I decided to run a short video demonstrating the table and going over the various build details. The rest of this entry still has the original photos and text, but if you want video, here it is:
The base itself is on a Jet mobile base since occasionally I get really long stock that needs to be cut in the driveway. An enhancement I plan to make soon is to use feather keys to lock a spacer into the side of the MFT-1080 and a cam-lock on the miter stand to fix the position of the saw relative to the MFT-1080. With that in place, I can clamp stop blocks trivially to the MFT.
I'm soon planning on getting a couple MDF sheets drilled in the same pattern as the MFT top, including the MDF under the saw. With that done, I can clamp boards to the deck by using the clamps used for the MFT rather than trying to clamp to the corrugated underside of the saw deck.
I get asked often enough about how to compute where the pivot point is on the swinging table and how to compute its thickness. Not very difficult so here it is:
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
I took several pictures while doing this project because the Festool "system" surrounding the OF-1400 router was key to its success (yes, yes, you could make your own rail or do it by hand, but this was fast, easy, and, uhm, smart :) I also posted this entry in a shorter form on FestoolOwnersGroup.com as part of a contest I won't win.
To route the recesses in the cork, I'm using a 1/4" down-spiral bit. My process is to route away the outside edges of the recesses then go back and eliminate the part left behind with another bit. I just don't want to buy another bit to avoid the 10-minute pass with another bit to finish it off.
KM-1 by Bridge City Toolworks. The KM-1 works by using the size of your cutter (a router bit in this case) and the size of the dado (recess here) to create 2 offset fences that you'll see as I go along.
table widener. In this case, I don't need the added stability the widener gives the OF-1400, but rather the added thickness that lets me use the guide stops off the back of the rail so the router is sitting on the stock instead of on the rail (I generally don't like it sitting on the rail since I never get the compensating support foot to lock solidly). Note how I do not have the micro-adjusting screw of the guide stops attached between the stops.
triangular bench rule like this one is nice since it butts up to the guide rail eliminating some error.
In this picture, the leftmost guide block is first locked in place. The KM-1 is placed between the guide blocks in the "long" position and the rightmost guide block is moved to touch it and locked into position. The rightmost guide block will never be moved again in this project. You'll notice something to the left of the leftmost guide block (apologize that it wasn't in the previous pictures). That is the microadjuster for the MFK-700 as it fits perfectly on the rods and locks. I use it as a well-sized stop block. Butt it up against the left guide block and lock it in place. You won't move it again. Note that the "microadjust" ability is not used; it just sits there like a dumb brick marking a stop location; I plan on ordering another by digging through the Festool EKAT parts system.
So now you are ready to crank through the routing operations. Note in the original picture that several recesses line up within a French knot and to an adjoining French knot. This is by design. Even if your tape isn't perfectly laid out, using the guide rail aligned across all co-linear segments will make the whole that much better looking.
- Place the guide rail the distance noted above from the inside edge of a recess to route. Clamp the rail because patching this cork is not an option.
- Loosen the leftmost guide block (one between stop collars) and slide the router until the guide block abuts against either stop collar.
- Plunge and route; I usually scribbled with a red Sharpie at the ends of a segment so I could be forewarned when looking through the router window. Stop early as it is easy to square the corner with a sharp chisel.
- Loosen the leftmost guide block again and slide the router until the guide block abuts against the other stop collar.
- Plunge and route.
- Go to step 1 until you have no more recesses. This is a very fast cycle.
Next up, cutting the walnut to length and mitered corners. This isn't difficult, just tedious. One tip: when 7 segments go in first-try and the eighth is being, uhm, fussy, check for new posts on your favorite forum. Really, you just need to walk for a second.
So the rest of this has less to do with the router, but finishes the story of the floor.
Voilà, the finished inlay!
For context, it will be in the entryway at the bottom of a set of stairs I refaced almost 2 years ago. Here are some photos.
So I get labeled a Normite since I have a couple powertools and will dovetail drawers with a router jig before whipping out my favorite Dozuki to do them by hand.
Behold, photographic proof that I know how a hand plane works.
The 2" wide band on the side of the cove is a flat area and the sides bevel down to 1/4"; since the inside edge of the bevel is along a tapered cove, it is tapered adding to the fun. This is a picture after I finished and swept the board. Keeping the bevel even and the flats coplanar was half the fun of doing this by hand; at the widest, the cove is wider than my plane.
This whole drawer front stack was an original design and so far, I'm pretty happy with it.
Now, gimme back my damn power cord...
I wrote this a long time ago and, as the article states, my lunchbox planer was installed in a machine stand at the time (the trick relies on the planer being portable). Although I describe everything here, photos are lacking. I've since rolled a video explaining it all here: How to Eliminate Snipe on Lunchbox Planers.
Snipe sucks. Even starts with an "S", too.
A lot of people have tips to gently lift the piece as it enters the planer and press down as it exits or the usual "you just need to make sure the tables are coplanar" (duh). Thing is, the lift can introduce a hump in place of the snipe and even if the tables are coplanar, most are rather flimsy and flex under the variable load of the board (variable due to the change in loading as it enters the lunchbox).
Before getting a battleship (er, sorry, PM20 planer), I had a Ridgid 12" lunchbox and honestly I highly recommend it. To avoid the problem with snipe, I wanted more stable tables on both sides especially for the long boards I was running through (my first projects had dimensions from 4'-8' routinely... don't ask).
My solution was to build two torsion boxes and top them with strips of melamine-coated particle (MCP) board.
I made them as torsion boxes on an assembly table to ensure they were flat. Using strips of MCP allows the stock to move smoothly (with half the friction since half the box isn't covered) and allows a place for ejected chips to go rather than lodge under the stock.
Now, I have since put my planer inside a stand so removing it for a picture is an hour affair, but the way I used these tables was to put the planer on the assembly table shown with a table on the infeed side and the other on the outfeed side. The stack of grey wood are shims to get the tables to the correct height. Since the assembly table is built to be flat, I can place the planer anywhere on it with the in/out-feed tables and have everything work well. This was extraordinarily useful with longer stock.
In my case, I'm reusing the tables I already made that were about 4' long, sized conveniently to fit on my assembly table in the original orientation. If you like this idea and want to use it, I'd suggest making a 5' box so you have at least 2' on each side (maybe even longer). Other than applying the offset, everything is the same as before, except no lifting or feeling shame that apparently your tables aren't as coplanar as the other guy (-psst!- he likely read it on a forum :)
Sunday, May 23, 2010
So, I made a bench for planing, vice work, "SysPort", and clamp storage. The sides and front were straight rails that sat on the ground. Okay, okay, dumb idea given the "flatness" of the average garage.
Voilà, the result: